Lemon Shortbread Bars
I happen to love shortbread cookies. Love, love, love ‘em. I also really love lemon, it’s one of my favorite ingredients. Therefore, quite naturally, I love the combination of lemon and shortbread together.
The base for these lemon bars is an excellent shortbread recipe just on its own: plus, it’s as easy as it is tasty. Though the original recipe suggests that you use your hands and a fork to make the base, using the wonderful modern invention of a food processor makes the process even quicker.
The filling is equally as easy. All you need do is measure the ingredients in a bowl, whisk, pour over the semi-baked crust and bake till firm. How simple is that?
Though the original recipe used little lemon and lots of sugar for the filling, I found that the end result was much too sugary; the lemon was lost in the sweetness. In my updated version, I added a lot more lemon, a couple more eggs and decreased the sugar by, well, by a lot. I think that the end result is much more balanced and Collin Murray must agree because he’s eaten just about the whole pan.
Lemon Shortbread Bars (adapted from Sherman Service League Celebrates)
Makes one 9-inch square pan
1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into 1-inch chunks
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup icing sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
¾ cup fresh lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine cubed butter, salt, icing sugar and flour and pulse about 15 to 20 times to combine. Mixture is ready when it holds together when squeezed. Press crust mixture into a nine-inch square pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325˚F.
While crust is baking, in a medium bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and the additional flour; whisk till the sugar has dissolved, about one minute. Whisk in lemon juice and zest. Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is set. Allow to cool before cutting into bars. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy.